BirdWatch Ireland Reserves

BirdWatch Ireland maintains a growing network of bird reserves around the country, all located in areas of conservation importance to birds. Our reserves cover a variety of habitats, from rocky islands, to saltmarshes and lakes, through to woods and semi-improved grasslands, and are wonderful places to get closer to nature. As well as birds, you will be able to see colourful flowers, butterflies and other wildlife.

As pressure on natural habitats increases, reserves can ensure that some land is managed exclusively in the interests of threatened birds, habitats or wider wildlife. These can be used as a demonstration of the benefits of conservation management in advocating, for example, for more targeted agri-environment policy, as well as playing a significant role in our campaign to foster public awareness of Ireland's wild bird heritage.

Our work on some of the reserves has been kindly supported through the EU LIFE-Nature programme, the LEADER programme, County Wicklow Partnership, South & East Cork Area Development Ltd, The National Parks & Wildlife Service, The Heritage Council, Fiontar Chomhraic Teo, Dublin Zoo, Vodafone, Google Ireland, various County Councils and local Community Groups as well as other sources including individual philanthropists and BirdWatch Ireland Branches and supporters.

Many of our reserves are incorporated into an events programme organised though our branches network. These introduce new members and the general public to the pleasures of birdwatching through guided walks and special seasonal events such as dawn chorus walks. They also inform on the workings of natural habitats and the need to incorporate conservation principles into land use and development activities. A visit to one of our reserves can offer a unique education resource for children and adults alike, where, as well as seeing and learning about birds, it also offers an opportunity to see other wildlife, from mammals to insects to flowers. For more information on these events, contact BirdWatch Ireland or look on the Branches events pages.

We hope that you visit some of them, either with the branches or in your own company, and enjoy the experience.

Entrance charges to our reserves are free, but donations to help us continue our work on these reserves are welcome. Follow the links below to learn more about each reserve.


Reserves by Name:

East Coast Nature Reserve, Co. Wicklow

Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow

Capel Island & Knockadoon Head, Co. Cork

Cuskinny Marsh, Co. Cork

Sheskinmore Lough, Co. Donegal

Rogerstown, Co. Dublin

Shenick Island, Co. Dublin

Bullock Island, Co. Offaly

Bishop’s Island, Co. Galway

Small Wood, Co Galway

Little Skellig, Co. Kerry

Puffin Island, Co. Kerry

Illaunmaistir, Co. Mayo

Termoncarragh Lake, Co. Mayo

Termoncarragh Meadows, Co. Mayo

Annagh Marsh, Co. Mayo




Please note that BirdWatch Ireland accepts no liability whatsoever for any accident, injury, loss or damage suffered by any person who visits any of its reserves, howsoever caused. Any person choosing to visit a BirdWatch Ireland reserve does so entirely at his or her own risk.

Please note also that all visitors to any of BirdWatch Ireland’s reserves must comply with all relevant access and permission conditions stipulated by BirdWatch Ireland in relation to each reserve, both contained on this website and on any signs or notices that may be posted at the reserves. Visitors also agree to comply with any restrictions or conditions communicated to them by BirdWatch Ireland, its staff or its authorised volunteers or agents. Any person present on any BirdWatch Ireland reserve who is not in compliance with these conditions will be deemed to be trespassing.

Reserve access arrangements and conditions are liable to change from time to time. Please check this website or contact BirdWatch Ireland to ascertain the arrangements and conditions in force at any given time.

New: East Coast Nature Reserve Conservation Management Plan 2017-2026

Click to download the ECNR Conservation Management Plan 2017-2026 (PDF: 989KB)
Click to download (PDF: 989KB)


New Management Plan update for Termoncarragh Meadows and Annagh Marsh

Click to view full document.

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